Vin Diesel appeared live on Facebook Friday, alongside director James Gunn, to share his reaction to the first completed footage from “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” While the the Groot voice actor naturally didn't offer a glimpse of the sequel, his emotional 12-minute response is brimming with the kind of enthusiasm that will make fans clamor the film’s release.
“Gimme a second here, guys,” he begins. “Oh, my God. This is how you’re going to respond.”
Gunn then joined the discussion, adding, “We’re here with Vin, he’s freaking out." Explaining that Diesel is the first cast member to see the footage, he said, “It’s a bit of what we saw at San Diego Comic-Con but more.”
The stunned Diesel addressed the immediacy of sharing one’s reaction live on Facebook, and then went on to praise his colleagues and co-stars.
“It’s weird having a friend like James Gunn," he said. "He’s your friend, and then you watch was he does, and you go, my friend is a genius … literally takes a hundred-plus blank pages and creates something that blows your mind.”
He described watching the new footage as like “seeing Santa Claus in September because you want Christmas to be tomorrow.”
Diesel also rhapsodized about Michael Rooker’s performance as Yondu Udonta. “When you watch his character, it’s like watching 20 movies compiled into one,” he said.
Diesel praised co-star Dave Bautista as a comedic genius “in a refreshing way that we don’t see every day," while Gunn describes his performance as Drax the Destroyer as giving it all."
“I think Chris Pratt was born to play Peter Quill,” Diesel said, with Gunn explaining that he initially didn't even want Pratt to read for the role. However, 20 seconds into the audition, he knew he’d found his Star-Lord.
They also talked about the Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan’s portrayal as sisters Gamora and Nebula. “We give the female characters a chance to shine in this movie,” the director said. Diesel added that there’s never been an onscreen portrayal of sisterhood “at this level in film."
Gunn said the first movie was about becoming a family, “and that this movie is about being a family … They’re sisters, they are family, whether they like it or not… and they also want to kill each other.”
Gunn also describes new cast member Pom Klementieff, who plays Mantis, as emotional, intense and funny. “She’s like a true alien creature in real life.”
“All your female characters are so strong,” Diesel told Gunn, explaining that his daughter looks up to Saldana’s confidence, which is prominently displayed in the sequel.
The pair then moved on to Kurt Russell, who plays Star-Lord's father Ego the Living Planet. Diesel described the veteran actor as “one of my gems in the 'Fast' franchise,” and “an asset all the way around.”
“When you see somebody that enthusiastic about the character they’re playing, it makes everyone around you pick up their game," he said.
“I’m blown away with what I saw," Diesel added. "You just hold on. May 5 is coming. You’re going to see 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' and it will blow your mind.”